Subsequently, you will find the most frequent questions regarding campaign management and Amazon Advertising strategies affected by changes due to COVID-19. Please note that due to the rapidly changing information and updates, our recommendations can change frequently. Nevertheless, we will give our best to keep everything up to date anytime, to best support you during this time.


Generic

  • How is the current sales situation developing on Amazon?

We are currently experiencing a change in buying behaviour and a general increase in traffic on Amazon. However, this mainly depends on the category and differs between countries. 


  • News from Amazon: Prioritization beyond April, 5th

    Amazon communicated via Seller Central and Vendor Central across Europe that it is prolonging the prioritization of certain categories beyond the 5th of April 2020. Therefore, orders for non.critical products will continue to be delayed and long delivery times for products are possible.
    Additionally, Amazon extends the list of prioritized products (based on different criteria e.g. demand etc.). Ordering for selected products will start again and delivery times could shorten for some products. Please check the situation and reactivate your campaigns and budgets when the status changes.



  • Update 16.04.2020: Amazon shuts down distribution centers in France

    • The court ruled to stop all non-essential deliveries during the coronavirus pandemic for 5 days starting today April, 16th

    • food, hygiene products and medical devices will continue to be sold

    • tries to meet demand by shipping from other countries


Budget

  • How much budget can I spend?

The budget factor (displayed in the Campaign Insights) can provide a good estimation under assumption of stable conditions (traffic, number of advertised products and their availability, TACoS, etc.). For the estimation, please do always consider external factors as well (seasonality, influence of COVID-19, priorisation of the category by Amazon). 


  • Is it reasonable to shift marketing-spendings to SPA and to increase budgets (given that the products are available and have a healthy stock situation)? 

Investing in campaigns is always reasonable if there is a demand you can serve with your products (independent of campaign type). We observe a worldwide increased demand in eCommerce (especially Amazon) due to the current situation caused by COVID-19 and its effects. Independently of the negative effects, we recommend exploiting the potential in eCommerce. This can also help to compensate / diminish possible losses of the stationary retail.


  • What is the best strategy to increase budgets with as little "unoptimized days" that drive the costs up as possible?

Best case: Our system works best with stable settings, meaning rather one big increase instead of multiple step-by-step increases. However, you need to expect a short adjustment phase (on average 3-5 days) until the algorithm found it’s perfect balance based on the updated settings.


  • If I have to reduce budget to 0, what's the best way to do this in metoda system? 

Self-service: Please put end date to "yesterday" (yesterday's date) for all active campaigns. In case you have already added budget for the following month please make sure to put INHERIT REMAINING BUDGET to "No" in order to prevent automatic adding of remaining budget to next month.


Managed Service: Please send an email to your contact person.


  • How to check if your budget distribution fits your sales potential
    • Check the Budget Factor in the Campaign Insights Report

    • Budget Factor close to 1
      ➤ we can’t spend more budget ~ optimal setup

    • Budget Factor clearly below 1
      ➤ we could spend more budget & reach TACoS

➤ good balance between budget & goals, but COVID-19 increased demand


➤ high potential to increase sales by increased advertising budget





  • Budget Potential significantly increased since COVID-19

  • Increase is driven by

    • increased demand, i.e. traffic on amazon

    • some customers stick to planned budgets or even reduced them


  • How to plan the rest of 2020



You can still use the “standard” distribution, but should adjust it to take into account, that

  • Prime Day will be shifted

  • Traffic will not decline as much as usually during summer holiday season (August)

  • COVID-19 might have a larger economic impact on the mid term

  • CPC is significantly higher during Cyber Week & Christmas

  • By using the INHERIT REMAINING BUDGET function, the system will automatically push left over budget into the next budget period

➤ Review your budget plan, think about pulling in budget     and flatten the distribution 




Campaigns


  • Amazon does not ship my products anymore since they are categorized as non-essential products (especially France, Italy at the moment). Do I need to pause the campaigns or does this happen automatically?

Typically, if Amazon loses the buybox ownership, the campaign will be paused automatically. To be on the safe side, campaigns should be paused in the Campaign Manager of the Ad Optimiser as well (put end date of campaign to "yesterday").

  • We are currently facing increased delivery times of up to 4 weeks, but are not losing the buybox for our products. Shall we reduce the budgets or even pause campaigns?

We recommend to pause campaigns for products with disproportionate delivery time (currently 1 month), as we expect rather low conversion rates. As long as the product is available and Amazon holds the buybox, the campaign will not be paused automatically and can cause needless costs. 


  • We are losing the buybox. How should we react on this and adjust our advertising strategy?

Usually, if Amazon loses the buybox, campaigns are paused automatically. To be on the safe side we recommend you to keep an eye on the buybox and availability situation and to additionally pause campaigns of affected products in the Campaign Manager of the Ad Optimiser (Put enddate of campaign to „yesterday").

  • What if I still have the buybox and the ads are still running, but the conversion rate will go down because of the 4 weeks delivery? Won‘t the metoda algorithm shut down those ads over the time due to a bad ROAS?

The algorithm would react on the low conversion rate and continuously decrease the bids until a level where no or only few placements can be won. This will take a certain time and cause needless costs in the meantime. Therefore, we recommend rather pausing the campaigns via our Campaign Manager.



Our inherently recommendation for this issue:


Situation
Recommendation
Identification of long delivery times (undertake manual checks for most important products)
Pause campaigns
Products with increased traffic and solid availability/ buybox situation
Keep budgets constantly high and serve the demand
Ongoing issues with buybox ownership or delivery issues
Use Seller account instead and deliver via FBM


  • If Campaigns are paused due to availability or buybox issues, what happens once they are reactivated?

    In general, the algorithm takes the performance of last 30 days into account. Bids have already been optimized before campaign was paused. These bids will be used when reactivating the campaign, so not further optimization is needed


  • Why is Amazon increasing delivery times – despite stock is available for some Vendors to several weeks, while keeping 1-3 days delivery time for some FBA merchants?

    Amazon is trying to reduce the load on their logistic system. They are prioritising not only for ordering but also for sending out products. Products which are in high demand have increasing delivery times so Amazon is able to manage their logistic systems. This is based on a product level and not consistent for a whole category.
     


Overview Strategies for Vendors


Transition Process: Switching from Vendor to own Seller (FBM)

  • Pause campaigns in vendor account (either selected campaigns or all campaigns)

  • Contact metoda to adjust your contract

  • Connect your seller account to metoda

  • Setup your portfolio, budget and campaign structure

  • Notify metoda

  • metoda will create new campaigns in the seller account, but copy keywords and bids from existing vendor campaigns → campaigns benefit from historical learnings


Sponsored Brands: are not dependent on buybox ownership, can therefore either 

  • stay in vendor account

  • move to seller account (brand registry necessary)

Sponsored Display: are not dependent on buybox ownership, but only available for vendors

  • stay in vendor account


Transition Process: Switching from Vendor to Partner Seller (FBM)


  • Pause campaigns in vendor account (either selected campaigns or all campaigns)

  • Sign contract with seller 

  • Connect partner’s seller account to metoda

  • Setup your portfolio, budget and campaign structure

  • Notify metoda

  • metoda will create new campaigns in the seller account, but copy keywords and bids from existing vendor campaigns → campaigns benefit from historical learnings


  • Sponsored Brands: are not dependent on buybox ownership, can therefore either 

    • stay in vendor account

    • move to seller account (brand registry necessary)

  • Sponsored Display: are not dependent on buybox ownership, but only available for vendors

    • stay in vendor account




Overview Strategies for Seller (FBA)


Transition Process: Switching from Seller (FBA) to Seller FBM)

  • Replace FBA SKU by FBM SKU via edit campaigns in metoda Campaign Manager

  • Note: metoda follows a single ASIN - single SKU logic. It is not possible to create campaigns with single ASIN - multiple SKUs

  • If buybox changes between FBA and FBM regularly, this can be reflected with multiple portfolios: 

    • Create a FBA portfolio with ASIN - FBA SKU

    • Create a FBM portfolio with ASIN - FBM SKU

    • Reallocate budgets if necessary


Seller account

  • Does it make sense to switch to FBM for specific products?

    For long-ranging buybox issues, especially if Amazon stops the delivery due to COVID-19, it makes sense to switch to the Seller account and to use your own logistic structures. Thus, one can stay flexible and still be able to serve the high demand on Amazon. Furthermore, you can still push this with the help of Sponsored Ads or DSP.


  • For the short-term, we have setup a Hybrid-Model, in which an acquainted Seller is offering the products and is delivering them FBM. How can we re-direct marketing to this seller and support him? Which possibilities do exist with this regard?

We have the option to support this, connecting the Seller Account and managing the campaigns. Please reach out to your metoda contact person for further details.



Deals

  • Are Deals taking place?

We have no official update on this. We recommend you to reach out to your contact person at Amazon and confirm your upcoming deals. Please inform us about the status of your deals, so we can support you in the best way possible.


DSP

  • What DSP strategy shall we follow?

As long as your products are available, we recommend you to keep your DSP campaigns running or start new DSP campaigns to support your sales.



  • Does it make sense to use DSP to drive traffic to the own webshop instead of Amazon (in case of out of stock on Amazon)?

    Yes, Link-out campaigns make sense to drive traffic to an own web shop. We can use Custom Creatives with a link to the Web shop. The audiences depend on the strategic goal of the campaign. In case of a purchase-oriented goal use remarketing segments, pixel tracking, hashed audiences, brand purchasers and brand viewers. An awareness-oriented goal is best supported by contextual and lifestyle segments.


SMART USE OF DSP DURING COVID-19


  • Push your sales using DSP campaigns

  • The online shoppers who were not directly converted via Sponsored Ad campaigns can then be addressed with DSP - on and off Amazon - brought back to the Product Detail Pages or your online shop and won as customers

  • Sponsored Ads activities directly help to build a relevant remarketing audience by promoting detail page views additionally to the organic visits due to the increased traffic 

  • Costs for Sponsored Ads that did not lead to conversion are not "lost" but an investment in the remarketing segments that can be used for DSP


Choose the right products - a checklist

  • Identify well performing products from your Sponsored Ad campaigns 

  • Products should have good availability and a stable buybox 

  • Choose products with a price point above 25€

  • Products should rather be well-rated with > 20 reviews and > 3.5 stars



New Ad Optimiser Report Launched: Delivery Time Insights

Delivery Time Insights enables to easily track changes in the delivery time of Amazon. This supports Vendors in pausing and re-starting campaigns based on Amazon Delivery Time during COVID-19.


This report covers ASINs from SPA, SBA and DSP and helps you to

1. Identify advertised ASINs, where Amazon holds the Buybox (BB) and has long delivery times

Aim: Pause campaigns to save budget and avoid bad conversion rates due to long delivery times

Use the following filter settings:Target State = enabled

  • Today Buybox Owner = Amazon

  • Today Amazon Delivery Time = 8+ days (set filter to 8 - …)

The report will show you all ASINs where you should consider to pause related campaigns.


2. Identify advertised ASINs, where Amazon holds the BB and delivery times shortened

Aim: Restart campaigns that were paused due to long delivery times

Use the following filter settings:

  • Target State = disabled

  • Today Buybox Owner = Amazon

  • Today Amazon Delivery Time <=7 days (set filter to 0 - 7)

The report will show you all ASINs where you should consider to restart related campaigns.


The new report is located in the Reporting section right below Campaign Insights Report.



Any further questions? Feel free to reach out to your contact person at metoda or via service@metoda.com and gladly join out next virtual meeting, taking place every Tuesday at 11:00 am (DE time).